A punter thought he’d won nearly £15,000 after staking just £10 on a series of World Cup bets – only for one of Britain’s biggest bookies to refuse to pay out. 

Liam Manifold, 30, from Tutbury, Staffordshire, had already planned how to spend the cash when Coral said it would not hand over the winnings.

The football fan expected odds of 1,495/1 after predicting that Argentina would be crowned overall winners of the World Cup in Qatar, Lionel Messi would be named player of the tournament and France would also make the final.

The delighted maintenance engineer rushed back to the betting shop in Horninglow on November 11, the day after the final, but left empty-handed. Coral said the three bets could not be combined into a multiple because the three events were closely related to each other. It said Mr Manifold wrote the odds on the slip himself. 

Liam Manifold, 30, placed a series of bets on the World Cup final and thought he had won nearly £15,000 but the bookmakers Coral are refusing to pay out

Liam Manifold, 30, placed a series of bets on the World Cup final and thought he had won nearly £15,000 but the bookmakers Coral are refusing to pay out

Mr Manifold was given odds of 1,495/1 after predicting that Argentina would be crowned overall winners of the World Cup in Qatar, Lionel Messi would be named player of the tournament and France would also make the final.

Mr Manifold was given odds of 1,495/1 after predicting that Argentina would be crowned overall winners of the World Cup in Qatar, Lionel Messi would be named player of the tournament and France would also make the final.

Is it legal for bookies to refuse to pay out on winning bets? 

Under the 2005 Gambling Act, a bookmaker must pay out a winning bet and punters can take them to court if they fail to do so. 

However, they can legally refuse to pay out in a number of situations, including when a bet breached their terms and conditions, was accepted in error or was based on incorrect pricing. 

In Mr Manifold’s case, Coral said his three bets could not be combined into one because they were what are known as ‘related contingencies’ i.e. the outcome of one bet affects the outcome of another. 

The firm explained: ‘If Argentina and France have made the final, then the odds of Argentina winning it are clearly much shorter than they were at the outset.

‘If Argentina have then won the World Cup, the chances of Messi being player of the tournament will be long odds-on.’

This meant the individual bets could not be combined as one to generate better odds – providing Coral with an excuse not to pay out.  

A spokesman for Coral said the events were ‘closely related to each other so the prices offered on them individually could not be included in a multiple bet’.

The bookmaker said it had made a ‘very fair and generous offer for the settlement of the bet’ – said by Mr Manifold to have been just £660.

He was planning to buy his disabled dad a new mobility scooter with the money, as well as put some away for the future.

Mr Manifold said the firm should pay up as his treble bet was accepted without any issue.

He said: ‘I went to cash in the bet and they said it shouldn’t have been placed and offered me £660 for it.

‘I’ve gone through their complaints system, there’s no leeway. I’ve gone to an independent complaints committee and I’m waiting to hear back from them.

‘I’ve since had different companies contact me saying if that was their company, they’d pay out.

‘When I placed the bet the guy behind the counter said it was absolutely fine. They’re now saying it’s a related bet.

‘It’s now two weeks after the final and I don’t seem to be getting anywhere. If there’s an error it’s their fault for accepting the bet. It’s very frustrating.

‘Just under £15,000 for a big betting company is pennies for them, but for me it’s a life-changing amount of money.

‘My dad’s disabled so I was going to buy him a new disability scooter and keep the rest in savings.’ 

A spokesman for Coral said: ‘These three events are all closely related to each other so the prices that were offered on them individually can’t be included in a multiple bet.

Liam Manifold, 30, from Tutbury, Staffordshire (pictured), had already planned how to spend the cash when Coral said it would not hand over the winnings

Liam Manifold, 30, from Tutbury, Staffordshire (pictured), had already planned how to spend the cash when Coral said it would not hand over the winnings

‘If Argentina and France have made the final, then the odds of Argentina winning it are clearly much shorter than they were at the outset.

‘If Argentina have then won the World Cup, the chances of Messi being player of the tournament will be long odds-on.

‘So we have settled the bet in the fairest way possible, paying out on the event with the biggest price, an Argentina v France final, at 22/1, and then on the basis that that had happened, we applied the price of Argentina winning the final which was 10/11 before the game, and then on the basis that Argentina had won the cup, we applied an over generous price on Messi to be player of the tournament at 1/2, as the odds on that happening should Argentina have won the World Cup would have been much shorter.

‘The prices on the slip had been written on by the customer not the member of staff. 

‘We have settled the bet in line with our terms and conditions, and we have made a very fair and generous offer for the settlement of the bet that exceeds what would have been the odds of such an eventuality had a customer asked for rush specific treble on November 11.’



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